Great King Street Artists Blend

Compass Box Great King Street Artists Blend (43%, Compass Box, 2014)

  • 43% ABV,
  • £24.95 for 50cl
  • Score: 74/100


What they say:

What if we were to apply Compass Box Whiskymaking principles to a line of Blended Scotches? That is exactly what we are doing with Great King Street.
Five key things set apart our approach to making Great King Street from any other Blended Scotch Whisky brand.
1. Great Grain. First, we start with the very highest quality single grain Scotch whiskies. Grain whiskies are the foundation of good Blended Scotch. We source ours from a renowned Lowland distillery and all of it is aged in ‘first fill’ American oak barrels, which makes the grain whisky much richer and sweeter on the palate than those aged in larger, refill casks.
2. More Malt. Secondly, we use a higher proportion of malt whisky than most other Blends. For instance, ‘The Artist’s Blend‘ consists of over 50% malt whisky, far more than the 30 or 40% most blends use. This provides more character and complexity.
3. Better Oak. At Compass Box we are known for our fanaticism about quality oak casks. Every cask of whisky used to make ‘Great King Street‘ is of a much higher quality than is typical in Scotch whisky: first-fill American oak casks, first-fill European oak ex-Sherry butts and, something no other Blended Scotch uses, new oak. For our ‘Artist’s Blend‘, we use new, heavily-toasted French oak.
4. Bottled Naturally.Great King Street is bottled at its natural colour (no E150 colouring agent added at all!) and without the chill filtration prior to bottling that most Scotch whiskies go through. This leaves the whisky full of its natural complexity and mouthfeel.
5. Traditional Strength. We bottle ‘Artist’s Blend’ at 43% alcohol by volume, a strength traditionally used in Scotland many years ago. We bottle at this strength so Artist’s Blend has more presence and character when mixed with soda as a Highball, or in cocktails.
We believe in transparency. These days, more and more people are interested to know what is in their whisky. Here is a breakdown of the whisky components of ‘Artist’s Blend’.WHISKY (Spirit Character)
A Lowland Grain Whisky (fruity/perfumed) 46%
B Northern Highland Single Malt (malty/fruity) 28%
C Northern Highland Single Malt (grassy/perfumed) 17%
D Speyside Single Malt (meaty) 9%
WOOD (Flavour Impact)
1 First Fill American Oak Barrel (vanilla) 66%
2 New French Oak Finish {New-Headed Barrel} (Grilled Marshmallow, toastiness, roasted coffee) 26%
3 First Fill Sherry Butt (wine, dried fruits) 8%

What I say:

Great King Street range of blends are purely grain and malt blends, non chilltiltered and vatted before bottling. GKS is constructed from a lot of Clynelish matured in both Bourbon and new French Oak casks and Teaninich matured in Sherry casks with a typical average age of around 9 to 11 years maturation. Approximately 45% of this blend is Girvan single grain although Gregg stated they usually use Cameronbridge Grain at around 11 years old.


Full Gold


Honey sweet, floral, toasted almonds/marzipan


Very smooth vanilla, apple, sweet, slightly sour, grapefruit pith, oranges, light malty, peanut and almond flavours


Short, mellow, sweet then sour

Would I buy it:

Well constructed all malt blend made using innovative techniques, resulting in a complex blend that doesn’t push any flavour extremes.

Categories: Blends

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